What to Do About Rippling After Breast Implants?

I had 775cc and 725cc high profile smooth saline breast implants placed above the muscle 5 years ago. About a year ago, I noticed a tension deep ripple line across both of them and ripples all over. I also noticed the right breast is higher, fuller, and firmer than the left. I've asked the plastic surgeon to place them under the muscle before the surgery, but he recommened under for more natural look. I also asked for silicone and he told me that it's not available. It was my 2nd surgery for revision to replace 325cc 4 a lift. What can be done about this?

Doctor Answers 3

Rippling of Breast Implants

There are several problems in your situation which are probably all contributing your concerns. First of all, it sounds as if your implants are way too large. Implants that are larger in diameter than the base of the breast are associated with more post-op problems such as you are describing. It does sound as if you may have a capsular contracture on the right side. The fact that your implants were placed over the muscle is likely making all of these problems worse.

You probably need to have silicone implants which are significantly smaller than your present implants placed under the muscle to obtain a result which you are pleased with.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Rippling, asymmetric and hard saline breast implants

It sounds as though several things are happening. The right breast, which you mentioned was higher, firmer and fuller, very likely has a capsular contraction. This is a thickened, scarred capsule around the implant which can cause pain, hardness, and distortion of the implant. Treatment generally involves removing the entire capsule and implant, and placing the new implant in a pocket under the pectoralis muscle.

The visible rippling has a few different possible causes. It could be caused by implant placement above the muscle, by saline versus silicone implants, or by capsular contracture. Converting to a silicone implant placed underneath the muscle, with removal of the implant capsule, would deal with all of these potential causes.

Your implants are relatively large. Over time, large implants are more prone to progressive malposition, meaning that they can migrate inferiorly and possible obliterate the inframammary fold (crease below the breast). Converting to a smaller silicone implant, combined with a mastopexy (breast lift) now could deal with your present problems and prevent the occurrence of future ones.

Your best bet is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon for a detailed examination. Best of luck!

Sam Jejurikar, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Rippling after saline implant placement

Visible rippling can occur with saline implants, especially if they are located above the muscle. Exchanging the implants for silicone and placing them under the muscle will provide a better result - more natural implant material and more tissue to cover the implant. It is true that silicone implants do not come that large, so you may have to decrease the size of your implants. You amy also require a small lift if your breast tissue is sagging after the implant size is decreased.

One other thing to keep in mind is that early capsular contraction may cause visible rippling in the implants, so you may want to be checked out to see if this is contributing.

Matthew Schulman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 324 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.